As CBD market shakes, let’s turn our attention to the whole plant

The CBD bubble’s about to burst? GREAT! Can’t happen quick enough in my opinion. In the long run, this “pop” won’t deplete the market, but rather expand it. CBD products will be cheaper and more accessible to lower income families and people who need these products in their everyday lives.

It should also spark initiative. All that biomass going to waste, all the stalk being plowed back into the fields, all the fiber being lost.

This is probably the best thing to happen to the hemp business in the last decade. Not only will it free the other 160 cannabinoids in the plant as producers seek to create products with their own “uniqueness.” It will also bolster the innovators who have been taking a holistic view of the plant all along and are making exciting developments in everything from farming and processing technology to applications from carbons and hemp-fiber based plastics. The hemp seed’s potential in food is massive.

A vision on the brink

The bubble bursting should also push extract producers to seek markets for their waste. Paper will be explored, fabrics will be created, biofuels will emerge, petrochemical plastics will be relegated to our history books. We are on the brink of a new industrial revolution. A green industrial revolution that in its march will change the world in ways we probably can’t imagine. But it’s a revolution that will only happen by utilizing the whole hemp plant.

The problem with today’s throw-away culture is exactly that, everything is disposable. The waste piles get higher as the resources diminish. We need to close the circle. We need to be producing recyclable products to close the energy loop and achieve real sustainability.

Maybe a little crash will also cool the fervor for cannabis in Big Pharma, opening more space for small guys doing smart things, and flush more new methods and whole plant products to the forefront.

Typical scare mongering

I attended a government think tank recently and an academic spouted on about the great and good of THC but also the “dangers.” I asked him if he would advocate the sale or consumption of industrial hemp leaf (> 0.2% THC). “I don’t advocate self medication,” he replied. When asked to explain himself he blurted out something about the “adverse effects of THC”.

I then informed him that he was scaremongering as THC has no psychotropic effects unless decarboxilated and transformed into THC-A or Delta 9. I also informed him that the temperatures required are quite impossible to achieve within the human body barring spontaneous combustion. He thanked me for pointing this out and completely ignored my original question.

Personally I look forward to the day we can select our hemp leaf alongside our basil in the grocery store to take home and create many culinary delights as enjoyed by our forefathers.

The CBD bubble’s about to burst? May its echo roar through the hills as it ushers in full spectrum whole plant usage.

Andrew Kelly is researching hemp and hemp applications with an emphasis on the potential for affordable fiber decortication technology in farm-to-factory value

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